| AROUND 1,000 skiers had to be airlifted to safety when gale-forced winds left them trapped on the piste.
Staff at the ski station in Panticosa (Huesca) had to shut down the ski lifts for safety reasons, meaning those who were still out on the slopes could not get down.
The regional ski resort company, Aramón – which owns the stations throughout the provinces of Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza – said winds reached over 110 kilometres per hour, making it dangerous to be out on the piste and even more so to use the lifts.
All 1,000 of them left the slopes and sought refuge in the cafés and restaurants at the resort, where they were attended to by staff until rescue workers could carry them back to terra firma.
Guardia Civil officers and members of the Civil Protection squad, together with employees from the ski station, brought them down to the base in groups of 50.
Nobody has been reported as being injured.
It took until around 06.00hrs this morning for the rescue operation to be completed.